Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Jewish Messenger, Dec 22, 1882 and Saltiel's letter about their post.

The Russian Emigrants
Reports from the Cotopaxi, Colorado colony, continues to be of the most encouraging nature, and in fact, there is now not the slightest reason to doubt that it will prove a success in every sense of the word.  The colonists are not only earning a comfortable livelihood, but in many instances have acquired considerable sums of money, and are seeking safe and profitable investments for their saving.  Every head of a family and several single men own a house, completely furnished, horses, wagons, cows and their labor is remunerated at the rate of from $2 to $1 per day.   They have a benevolent society, which already possesses quite a large fund.  In their letters to the Society in this city the colonists express their gratitude in warm terms for the aid extended to them, and promise, at an early date, to repay every dollar advanced.
No author

There is no identity as to who wrote this report.  Was it Schwarz?  Tobias?

It claims:

1)  the colony is successful
2)  the colonists are earning a comfortable living
3)  many of the colonists have acquired considerable sums of money and are looking for investments
4)  every man owns a completely furnished house, horses, wagons, cows
5)  wages are $1 to $2 per day

One might question how they arrived at this point just 6 months away from not having houses.

Just 5 days later, E. H. Saltiel wrote a letter to the editor responding to the report:

Letter to Editor from E H SaltielSent 27 December 1882 Printed in Jewish Messenger of 5 January 1883
E H Saltiel, 27 December 1882
Cotopaxi, Colorado
In reference to the Russian colony here, Mr. E. H. Saltiel, under date of December 27th, writes as follows:
In your issue of December 22th, 1882, there appears a paragraph stating that the Russian refugees here are in a highly flourishing condition, “earning from two to four dollars per day”, “making money rapidly,” etc. It would be highly gratifying to me, if I could confirm this rose colored report, which I regret to be compelled to state is utterly false.
The truth is that the potato crop, upon which these people mainly depended for support, was, by the advice of their late manager and his assistant, for the most part left ungathered until the severe frosts had destroyed it. I will not blame these men, as I think that their intention was to let the potatoes grow to a larger size, but the utter lack of knowledge of all practical methods for pioneer farming, is well shown in this one instance.
Saltiel is denying that the report is accurate.  He is blaming the failure of the crop on Schwarz and Tobias (manager and assistant).

Was it Schwarz and Tobias's lack of pioneer farming knowledge?  Let's reconsider here:

1)  It was Saltiel who proposed to HEAS that the Colonists establish a farming community at Cotopaxi.
2)  It was Saltiel who took the Colonists to an altitude of 8000' to survey their plots.
3)  It was Saltiel who received funds from HEAS to build their homes, provide them with furnishings, farming implements and animals, and then he failed to accomplish this task until after July, 1882.
4)  Thus, the "blame" should rest with Saltiel for suggesting that an agricultural colony was possible at Cotopaxi.

"Severe frosts" can come any month of the year in Colorado at 8000'.  Only Saltiel had resided in this state prior to the Colonists arrival.  He had absolutely no experience farming.  Yet he should have been quite aware of weather in the mountains by 1882.  Again, further evidence that he "tricked" the Colonists into coming to Cotopaxi to farm when he really intended for them to work in his mines.

The wives of many of the colonists came to me with tears in their eyes and begged work for their husbands. I had felt reluctant to assist these people further, as some of them had been made to sign a paper that they knew to be false, defaming me. Their wretched condition, however, touched me deeply, ...
I have no evidence yet of any paper the Colonists signed to defame Saltiel.  It is interesting that he states their condition was "wretched" and that he was touched deeply when he is the reason they were in this condition.  What if their houses had been complete when they arrived in May?  What if they had farming implements, cows, etc., when they arrived?  It was Saltiel's delay that caused their planting to be late.  No one else....and now he is touched by the wretched condition he has placed them in!
and I gave, during November, employment at one dollar and a half per day, to the following men:
J. S. Shamas,
J. Vorzitzer,
Berl Chorowsky,
Marcus Chorowsky,
Samuel Neuman,
H. Dublitzky,
S. Chuturan,
Hirsh Lauterstein,
M Menkowsky,
J. Present,
M. Chuturan, and
D. Krupitzky.
Saltiel set them up to fail miserably, then tries to come off as the charitable type by providing them employment in his mine.
Some of them proved utterly unfit for work, the others under the instruction of a first class miner, soon learned how to sort ore from rock. Two men, Dublitzky and J. H. Shamas, made fair, attentive workmen, and promise to do well. Dublitzky did better than most of the others, and I raised his wages to two dollars per day. I have offered all of the unemployed colonists work by the piece, at sorting a large ore dump, but only two or three have accepted, and are making fair wages.
Once again - he is attempting to make himself appear to be the "good guy".  I feel sorry for the readers of the newspaper at that time as I doubt they had the background information that is available to us today.
The father of one family, Snyders, has gone to Denver to obtain work at tailoring, and taken his daughter, Fannie Chuturan, with him. The benevolent society paid their expenses. The funds in this society amount to about one hundred dollars.
This is good information.  We now know that Abraham Snyder, his daughter Fannie and his other daughter Sarah all left the colony sometime late 1882.  The went to Denver and then to Omaha.
Two families, Milchstein and Shamas, are probably comfortably off, as they brought money with them, and also purchased the pair of little mules and old wagon that Schwartz bought for the colony; and I am told that they have other animals.
It is curious that Saltiel does not KNOW if they had other animals.  Is this confirmation that he was not present in Cotopaxi enough to know what was actually going on with the Colonists?  December 1882, when he wrote this, was just 7 months after they arrived.  I believe my documents will show us that he wasn't there much at all in 1882.
The purchase by the H. E. A. Society of a cow for each family proved beneficial, and has helped a great deal.
Saltiel is admitting here that this is additional money.  Not included in the original sum HEAS gave to Saltiel.  We still do not know what happened to that money.  But we will.
Two other families, Nudelman and Zedek, will get along well, as the heads of each are fair carpenters and builders, and have industrious families.
Interesting that Nudelman and Zedek were also given land that was closer to Cotopaxi, down lower, with a creek running through the middle of their plots.   More favorable for farming than the higher altitude.  Yet they were not able to grow a successful crop.
Dublitzky is good enough workman always to find work. Chorowskys will occasionally get work at my mines, probably permanently. The same may be said for Neumann and Vorzitzer.
Vorzitzer is Joe Washer.  Note, there is only one Neumann in Saltiel's letter whereas Flor Satt's thesis shows multiple Neumans.
I regret, however, to be compelled to state that the farming experiment, in colonies, is a lamentable failure, and if attempted further in the Far Western Mountain States, will cause both loss of money and great misery.
So here, Saltiel is claiming that the colony is a failure.  Just 7 months into it's existence.
The training and tastes of our Russian coreligionists are against Western farming customs, and if the experiment should ever be repeated here, the only persons that will be benefited will be the clerks and managers drawing salaries. From the past year’s experience I am led to believe that one hundred dollars given into the hands of the head of each discreet family to start business for himself will be productive of more good than thousands expended on colony experiments.
At this point I need to explain that we are missing a huge chunk of information here that I will post shortly.  At almost the same time this article and response were published, there was a lengthy report from Schwarz to HEAS and Saltiel also made a response to that.   It will become clear that Saltiel did not like Schwartz and was attempting to belittle him, make Schwarz look like a very foolish young, unknowledgeable manager.

Was this because Tuska took the management position away from Saltiel and gave it to Schwartz?  Most likely.   Imagine the "job" of a 39/40 year old man being given to someone only 21.
We will do the best that we can with those now here, but to send any more would be cruelty to a helpless people, and a total waste of money. 
Is Saltiel now telling HEAS to stop sending money to the Colonists?  Only 7 months after they arrived?  Was he trying to completely starve them out that first winter?  He knew their crops had failed and if HEAS stopped supporting them, then they would surely have to continue to work in his mines.

Finally, Saltiel is almost acting as though he is speaking on behalf of all of the agricultural colonies in operation at that time.  Yet he could not possibly know the status of every other colony.  So he is basing his statement on his knowledge of Cotopaxi only?  And he wasn't there enough to know if a family had more than one cow or not?  Or is he just trying to persuade HEAS to stop sending money to the Colonists.

These documents continue to provide us with confirmation that the oral histories handed down over the generations of the past 134 years are facts, not myths!

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